University description (as per official university website)
San Joaquin College of Law (SJCL) was founded in 1969 by a visionary group of San Joaquin Valley judges and attorneys who believed that capable individuals were being denied a quality legal education because no accredited law school existed in the area. Their goal was to provide the opportunity for San Joaquin Valley residents to become effective legal practitioners.
The founders firmly believed that a sound legal education should combine theoretical and substantive knowledge with practical skills. With the beginning of instruction in fall 1970, the School adopted the uncompromising standards essential to the achievement of this goal.
Although faced with modest facilities and resources during the College’s early years, the college's success is evident. SJCL is the center of legal study for both law students and practitioners in the San Joaquin Valley with no comparable institution for 120 miles in any direction. Over 88% of its graduates have passed the California bar examination. More than 28% of the practicing lawyers in the Fresno area are SJCL graduates. Of the women lawyers in the area, nearly 46% are SJCL graduates. Nearly 35% of the minority lawyers are graduates.
SJCL students have competed successfully in Moot Court competitions throughout the nation. In February 1992, SJCL swept every category in the Florida National Tax Law Moot Court competition, vying against major ABA-accredited institutions. In February 1995, SJCL students won First and Second Best Oralist awards at the National Sports Law Moot Court competition in New Orleans. In March 1998, an SJCL team placed third in the Florida Tax competition. In 2001 our team took first place brief award at the Roger J. Traynor California Moot Court Competition and in 2002 took best brief and best overal advocate.
The San Joaquin Agricultural Law Review, published by SJCL students, circulates nationwide with articles receiving critical praise from the National Law Journal. SJCL students have for fourteen years assisted potential litigants as Small Claims Court advisors and now are doing ground breaking work in non-adversarial alternatives in the Family Law Mediation Clinic.
SJCL graduates have distinguished themselves professionally. Among their number are nineteen judges and court commissioners, the Fresno, Tulare and Kings County District Attorneys, the Fresno County Clerk, the Fresno County Chief Public Defender, the current Deputy Director of the California Environmental Protection Agency, and practitioners in every area of public and private service.
In December 1996, SJCL relocated to a new facility designed to accommodate its growth into the next century. Melding the old and the new, SJCL renovated an historic building. The new facility includes a state-of-the-art courtroom and lecture hall, greatly enlarged library and computer facility, and modern classrooms, all in a park-like setting.
A legal education is like a medical education; it is a professional education. The knowledge you gain will be used throughout your practicing life as a lawyer. Therefore, you need to choose the environment in which you will learn most successfully. If a small school with high standards and a team effort philosophy is what you need to learn, please consider San Joaquin College of Law. We would be delighted to help you reach your greatest potential.